“My life is like a movie. I do my own stunts.” ~Lil Wayne
I am not a Lil Wayne fan. However, this short and poignant quote touched my soul. I like the position he takes with his words–active, aggressive, in charge and true to himself. I dig that.Advertising
Viewing your life from the posture of both star and screenwriter of your own personal box office masterpiece as opposed to a spectator sitting in the audience taking it all in with a bag of popcorn, could be the genesis of a new you. That one small paradigm shift could alter the trajectory of your life forever.
Life from the audience
Life from the spectator’s vantage point is safe, uneventful, and very neutral. It allows us to engage in experiences from a distance. We can participate in a precarious situation yet walk away unscathed–nothing lost and nothing gained. The danger of the spectator lifestyle is that there is a level of disengagement that absolves us from taking any responsibility for the things that happen around us and more importantly to us.Advertising
The best part of sitting in the audience is once the show is over you get to critique the performance. The actors’ performances, the cinematography, the musical score, the storyline and plot are all there waiting to be ripped apart, scrutinized, and dismissed by you–a mere mortal with no “skin in the game.” The professional football world refers to this as “Monday morning quarterbacking.” As time progresses, you become increasingly more pious and critical of others. However, when you are faced with a set of circumstances where you must play a role, you excuse your mistakes, feel sorry for yourself and blame others for your tragic failures.
Becoming the screenwriter and star of your life requires you to “do your own stunts.” You must stop daydreaming and living vicariously through others and actively participate. The failures, mistakes, bruises, and scars are worth it. The late, great Jackie Robinson put it like this:Advertising
“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.“
Life as a scriptwriter and star
Accepting and embracing the fact that you are the star of your own life with creative control over the script is crucial to living a purposeful and fulfilled life with no regrets. You must understand and accept the fact that you alone determine the overall success or failure of your life.Advertising
Being the star and creative force of your life gives you the ability to rewrite the script at a moment’s notice, altering the plot, setting or theme at your discretion. You get to cast and recast your own characters, determine their roles and cut them due to “creative differences,” when necessary. And then there are the plot twists. Sometimes you get to author your own plot twist and sometimes they are authored for you. Either way, a good plot twist makes an excellent movie.
Headlining your life requires a few things. First is audacity. You need to be bold enough to face fear and failure and proceed anyway. Second, you need a vision. Life without vision is akin to a movie without a plot–both are a pointless waste of time. Develop a vision for your life and let it serve as the theme that guides your plot. The last thing you need is perseverance. You have to stick with it in order to make it to the final curtain call. With these attributes and the recognition that a life lived from the audience is no life at all, there is nothing that you can’t accomplish.
Featured photo credit: BagoGames via flickr.com
Last Updated on December 10, 2019
5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today
Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.
Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?
But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.
Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.
But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:
Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.
Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.
Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:
1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals
By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.
Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?
But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.
The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.
2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus
If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.
How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.
Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.
You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.
3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding
As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.
Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?
All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.
4. Journals Track Your Overall Development
Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.
Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.
The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.
5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth
The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”
It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.
How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?
Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.
Here’s what you can do to start journaling:
- 15 Inspiring Journal Ideas to Set You up for Success
- How to Bullet Journal to Skyrocket Your Productivity
- Writing Journal for a Better and More Productive Self (The How-To Guide)
Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com